Civil war era apothecary or spice box, with tins to hold medicines or herbs. This is japanned black finish over steel, very worn though surprisingly un-rusty for a piece over 150 years old.
There's just five of the six tins original to the set, and the center is loose although it looks fine and could probably be soldered back in place.
The tins measure about 2" in diameter x 2 3/4" tall, and the round box measures 6 1/2" in diameter x 4" tall. This has been used has a hardware kit, and the tins have been marked TACKS etc..